Muhammad Ali was named the third greatest sports figure of the 20th Century by ESPGetty Images

One of the many issues with American fame is that when some stars fade it is often assumed that they no longer shine at all.


Muhammad Ali, who wasarguably the most famous sports figure of the 20th Century, is not dead - though if you type "Muhammad Ali" in a Google browser the top search is "Is Muhammad Ali dead?'


Ali has battled Parkinson's Syndrome since the 1980s and has rarely appeared in public in the past decade-plus.His last prominent moment came in 1996 when he lit the Olympic torch at the Atlanta games.


On Thursday his name was trending worldwide on Twitter and people automatically assumed the worst, but reports say that the famed boxing champ is in fair condition after being hospitalized for respiratory issues.


Not only did people jump to conclusions on Twitter Thursday, but many people thought that Ali had already died years ago.

"Not to be an asshole but...Muhammad Ali ain't drop dead yet?" said @gam81487

"For all these years I thought Muhammad Ali was long dead," said @mliloberry

"People forget that Muhammad Ali isn't dead," said @lost_inthesauce

"Muhammad Ali is still alive. Why did I think he's long dead," said @Vhotlhale_M

"Thought that Muhammad Ali been dead bih," said @ShadyRella

Ali spoke with Bryant Gumbel in 2002 regarding Parkinson's and his mortality (video above).

"This life is short," Ali told Gumbel. "This life is the preparation for the eternal life. I might die tomorrow. I might die next week. I don't know when I'll die."